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Panettone, Christmas pudding and illusion cakes feature in festive Bake Off

(Channel 4/Love Productions/PA)
(Channel 4/Love Productions/PA)

Prue Leith sported festive blue hair in The Great British Bake Off’s Christmas special as former contestants returned to compete for the title.

Veterinary surgeon Rosie Brandreth-Poynter, a semi-finalist from the 2019 series, was crowned as the winner of the Christmas edition.

She beat Jamie Finn, also from the 2019 series, 2018 contestant Ruby Bhogal and James Hillery from 2017.

(Channel 4/Love Productions /PA)

The contestants had to complete three challenges for judges Leith and Paul Hollywood.

They were tasked with making a set of miniature panettones, a microwavable Christmas pudding and an illusion cake that looked like a festive feast.

Rosie, from Somerset, excelled in all three challenges and earned a Hollywood handshake in recognition of her Christmas dinner illusion cake.

After being crowned as the victor, she said: “I can’t really believe it, to be honest. I’m so happy.

“It’s just the perfect end to a lovely couple of days.”

Leith said: “I’m so pleased for Rosie because she never won star baker and, of course, she never had a handshake and she achieved both of those things today.”

Speaking at the end of the programme, she said it had been a “really tough year for so many people”.

James, Jamie, Ruby and Rosie (Channel 4/Love Productions/PA)

She added: “I just hope that everybody who watches Bake Off feels the same as I do. It isn’t the real world, the real world is tougher out there, but it is a moment when you can just relax and enjoy yourself.”

Hollywood said the standard of baking was “excellent all the way through”.

He added that all the bakers had improved since they left the Bake Off tent.

Jamie, who was the second contestant to leave the programme last year, was criticised by the judges in the first two rounds of the competition.

Hollywood labelled his Christmas pudding “rubbery”, while his panettone were said to be too dense.

Despite being labelled as the worst performing contestant by the judges, Hollywood praised his takeaway Christmas feast illusion cake.

“I think it is a clever design and you did complete what you said you were going to do,” he said.

Comedian Tom Allen, who hosts Bake Off’s sister programme Extra Slice, stood in for regular presenter Noel Fielding, who was absent following the birth of his child.

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